American blackened death metal band Worm Shepherd will release their debut album In the Wake Ov Sòl on the 4th June. Their sound is dark, dragging you in from the moment the false chord screams start. It’s impressive how many guest singers they have from deathcore’s heavy hitters. For example, you’ve got Chelsea Grin’s Alex Koehler, and Signs of the Swarm’s David Simonich. The album transcends different shades of light and dark because it combines uplifting soundscapes with downbeat bruising riffs.
The vocal techniques remind me of Igorr. They’re caked in slick production which brings out some brutal riffs, such as the one on the title track. I like how the screams are mixed perfectly with the death metal riffs on ‘Ragnarok’ because they bring a lot of ambience. It’s refreshing to hear the synths as well as they bolster the moody atmosphere.
The band has a triple assault of guitarists: Brandon Cooper, Ryan Ibarra, and Tre Purdue. The impact is amazing and indebted to the classic deathcore titans such as Thy Art Is Murder, Lorna Shore, and Fit For an Autopsy. It creates a heavy, hard-edged wall of brutality that snarls into your ears.
Devin Duarte’s vocals are something else however. The guy is only 20 years old yet he brings a range of techniques that will surely impress seasoned veterans. The guy is a natural and brings this talent to the forefront on ‘Wretchedness Upon the Gates.’ The layered guitars and choral sounds make the song sound furious. I think it sums up why this is one of the most exciting records I’ve heard this year. There’s some terrifying energy with production that will be suitable for a moshpit when live shows do come back.
The album continues with ‘The Emptiness Between Stars.’ This song stands out because it’s slower, containing twinkling pianos and an acoustic guitar. Both these elements make the song sound moody and sombre. On ‘The Frozen Lake’, the vocals chill you to the bone while the drumming is so powerful, leaving a profound effect. The way Leo Worrall McClain smacks that snare is so crushing because it encourages the listener to spin kick.
In The Wake Ov Sòl is stunning because the production is tight and the vocals are insane. I like the way that Worm Shepherd transcend different emotions, resulting in an enjoyable piece of work.
Words by Ermis Madikopoulos